Eggs are of course very nutritious and the whole flock will soon pick up the bad habit. If you know which chicken is guilty, then remove them from the flock immediately. If you are raising your own breeding stock, you will need to include roosters in your flock. Once you spot the hen or hens with pieces of eggshell or egg yolk on their beak, remove them from the flock immediately. Roosters also crow in not just the morning, but throughout the day. So, if you want to keep chickens for eggs, it is a good idea to choose the best chicken breeds that produce the most eggs. Mar 01, 2016 hens eating their own eggs is a form of cannibalism and it needs to be stopped. Before you assume your hens are eating eating eggs, rule out other possible causes that can impact egg laying. Feeding crushed egg shells to chickens community chickens.
Or if egg eating has already become a problem, how do we cure it. Something is eating them and once it starts it is very difficultto put right. If no egg thieves are identified, missing eggs are likely due to a flock member. However, one day, the extent of participation in the bizarre ritual became apparent. This will maximise their freshness and help avoid broodiness and egg eating in your flock. Every so often my hens go through a brief phase of eggeating which seem utterly unrelated to nutrition or boredom. Causes and cure of egg eating in poultry livestocking. Mar 22, 2020 as a flock owner, several situations are unusual within a flock of chickens but none more than the hens eating their eggs.
Youll get to handfeed treats to the flock and see how a hen lays an egg. Chickens eating their own eggs some theories on why and how to stop it. While they both come from the same chicken breed, throughout the years theyve been bred to either be more productive egg layers, or to produce more meat. Provide at least one 12inchsquare nest for every 4 or 5 hens in the flock and never fewer than six nesting boxes. A possum will take the eggs and leave your chickens alone as long as he is getting a meal. May 14, 2018 second, egglaying hens and broiler hens another term for meat hens dont taste like the same bird. Jul 15, 2017 once an egg breaks, their natural curiosity will soon have your chickens eating the yolk and white inside. After some adjustment, the ladies, as weve come to call our flock, became a familiar presence, and i soon enthusiastically embraced the role of chicken farmer, sharing the duties of feeding them, cleaning the coop and collecting eggs. Best chicken breeds for backyard flocks mother earth news. Langford also shares what plants should be scratched and what to sow to support the flockfrom edible flowers and foliage to a hens herbal healing bed. The fact is that natural egg laying for chickens is no different than it is for many other birds. Your students will love collecting farm fresh eggs straight from the nesting box. Collect eggs twice a day and put them straight in the fridge.
It can start for numerous reasons including nutritional deficiencies, curiosity and boredom. Subscribe and get the big book of chicken names, free. Dec 26, 2015 in my experience, the way egg eating starts is one day, an egg accidentally gets broken, and your chickens realize theres something yummy inside. Top tips to stop stop your chickens from eating their eggs. The big family homestead gets a visit from prepsteader bob to help figure out how to stop our chickens from eating eggs. Hacks, gardening with chickens and several other books on raising backyard poultry. If anyone is eating eggs, youll usually see evidence of it they generally cant get every last bit of the egg yolk eaten. Hens egg eating is one of the less pleasant things our feathered ladies can get up to at times and once established, eggeating can be very difficult to stop.
So, its very important to monitor the flock and make sure that any egg eating behaviors are dealt with quickly. The flock quickly peaks in egg production and then slowly reduces its level of egg production. Heres what farms do to hens who are too old to lay eggs. What to do about obnoxious chickens eating eggs farming my. It can be so frustrating to enter your coop and find the eggs consumed in the nests and yellow yolk on the beaks of your hens. May 15, 2019 when a rooster is present, there is a clear defined group of leader and followers. Visit with the happy hens at egg song farm and learn all about chickens. Jul, 2011 egg eating is a cultural habit that spreads hen to hen quickly.
When to butcher laying hens homesteading and livestock. We butchered the entire flock this past year, because they started eating their eggs and i tried many, many different methods of rehabilitation. Although many people may say egg eating is impossible to break, and to just cull the hen, in many cases this is not. The beginners guide to raising backyard chickens fresh. I had almost 50 hens and i got approximately 1820 eggs a day and those were disgustingly filthy with egg yolk and all kinds of unmentionables all over them. They are nuts over eggs and they kill and eat chickens also. We also supply fresh veggies from the store and layer pellets yet we still have egg eating problems. Try throwing a few old eggs in a place near your hen house but not right next to it. Typically eggeating begins when a chicken accidentally breaks an egg, tastes it, loves the taste, and now associates that lovely flavor with those ovalshaped objects that she lays.
Sep 10, 2015 relates a story from chickenraising friends at reformation acres who experienced the egg eating phenomenon when their entire flock learned to devour their eggs. Therefore, hens will refrain from battling for pecking order hierarchy, be much more content about their role in the flock, and will no doubt be a better egg producer than it would be as a potentially stressed out hen. Evaluating egglaying hens poultryone guide to raising. Offer the crushed egg shells as free choice, not mixed in with their layer food. You can get a broiler to a live weight of 6 pounds in just 8.
A suggestion from pat foreman, author of the book city chicks is to block. Pullets that are not laying yet, and roosters dont need crushed egg shells they dont have the taxing job of laying eggs. Typically, egg eating starts with one or two hens and other hens start to pick up on the bad habit. Hens eating their own eggs is a form of cannibalism and it needs to be stopped. Eggeating chickens how to break the habit the chicken. While it is a difficult habit to break, is not impossible to overcome with some easily implemented strategies. Egg eating is a nasty habit sometimes found in young pullets, and even older hens. It is not the best feeling when you go to the chicken shed to collect the daily eggs only to find empty eggshells in the nest boxes. Feb 17, 20 typically, egg eating starts with one or two hens and other hens start to pick up on the bad habit. Eating the eggs of backyard chickens also reinforces their egg industry role as layers or egglaying machines, as if to suggest that this is their primary purpose in life, which is incorrect. Maybe a hen stepped on an egg and punctured the shell. Chickens and other egg laying creatures are kept widely throughout the world and mass production of chicken eggs is a global industry. And this isnt to say that if a hen eats a broken egg she will turn into an egg eater, and in fact, i have chickens that are opportunistic egg eaters that never eat eggs otherwise. When your hens eat their own eggs reformation acres.
A guide to preventing eggeating in your hens poultryone. I think 4 to 6 hens is a good amount to have for a backyard flock, or at least 5 hens a rooster chickens are social creatures. I have a lot of hawks where i live and they warn the others. The ladies roam our halfacre backyard during the day, eating bugs and grass and kitchen scraps.
Egg eating often starts when an egg is accidentally broken in the nest box, and the hen pecks at it. There is a big problem with raising broilers and layers together. Egg eating, a form of cannibalism, is a terrible habit that some chicken develop over time. Clean out dirty nests and any droppings in the hen house. Provide at least one 12inchsquare nest for every 4 or 5 hens in the flock plus one or two spare.
We hatch new chicks for our flock yearround, so youll even get to observe our incubator andor hold baby chicks. Some of the more common reasons are short daylight, molting, or an underlying health issue. I coaxed a broody out of the nest box to drink the other day, and she came out covered in poop and broken egg shells and she was so sticky that 2 eggs were stuck to her feathers gross and so she could hardly walk. Observe your flock of backyard chickens carefully as soon as you notice a problem with hens eating their own eggs. Six tips on breaking your egg eater backyard chickens. However, if you are raising a certain type of chicken meat, egg, or pet then there is a particular diet that suits them. Many of the ideas mentioned here can be quickly implemented with little fuss and disruption. Best chicken breeds for backyard flocks use our survey results to help you choose the best chicken breeds for eggs, meat, temperament, and more. When an egg breaks, the chances of a chicken eating the eggs is at its highest. I have yet to try it but it sounds like a reasonable presumption. Give them kitchen scraps and let them visit the compost pile. We will also take a look at some other egg laying behaviors that can be problematic for you and your flock.
Predators such as rats, weasels and snakes are known egg thieves. Although many people may say egg eating is impossible to break, and to just cull the hen, in many cases this is not true. This is essential to minimise the risk of disease and fly problems. To prevent broken eggs, use plenty of soft bedding in your hens nesting boxes. Egg eating can be quite a difficult vice to cure once it becomes established so it is best to act quickly if you can. It is important to remember, however, that not all the hens in a flock will be laying at the.
The kids get attached to the birds, so it works for this time in our life. Eggeating chickens how to break the habit the chicken chick. Ways to stop hens from eating their eggs keeping chickens. Aug 17, 2017 feeding crushed eggshells to your flock.
Once theyre broken open, theres a good chance they could eat the egg and develop the nasty habit. Directory of the best egg laying chicken breeds, plus colorful twopage spreads of the 20 most popular choicesadvice on how to select and set up your flock, including safe and affordable housing, runs, and coopsselecting the best diets for your flock to maximize production and avoid egg failure. Chickens are very smart and it does not take long for them to realize that not only do eggs taste good but they are a great source of protein. It can be time consuming to try and break a determined hen of this habit, but it can be done.
We all know how good fresh eggs taste, so we really cant blame them. Unfortunately i suspect it is not just one bird but rather all of them who are egg eating. Reducing or eliminating egg breakage minimizes the chances your hens will get a taste for raw egg. Most flocks of egg laying hens go through the same typical production curve. If you find broken eggs in your coop, it may also not be your chickens eating the eggs. Egg breakage is one of the main reasons hens begin eating eggs. Mar 02, 2020 how to prevent egg eating by reducing egg breakage. My friend suggested the hard wooden eggs because, according to her, the hens peck at them, cant get through the shell and give up on egg eating forever. If you utilize the space in your backyard to keep hens that produce eggs almost daily, youll save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per year. Chickens that dont have enough space can pick on each other and star to get aggressive and bored, leading to feather loss, egg eating and a host of other problems. They knew they had one or two chickens involved in the debauchery. At four to five months of age, all that care and nutrition starts paying off in omelets and frittatas your chickens are all grown up and laying their first eggs. Why chickens eat eggs and how to stop it the spruce.86 301 1493 1496 1587 593 1436 689 1325 905 809 1036 160 881 241 68 762 1464 247 1365 1349 426 1136 1094 1188 1634 1292 1090 1561 265 1368 127 1207 991 621 236 829